Newborn Essentials: Vol. 1

Fabulous post on all the essential items you need from your registry for the first 4 weeks with your newborn, including some great tips! Great pin for all soon-to-be-moms!{photo cred: Niki Schmidt Photography}

Registering for your baby can be overwhelming especially for first time mommas. When you register for your engagement you are signing up for items you would like for your home. When you register for a baby you are asking for items to basically help take care of another human being. Add first time mom anxiety over how to take care of a baby plus the huge registry checklist and it can make the calmest of soon to be mommas a nervous wreck. Good news is you won’t use or need all the registry items with a newborn. Will the first four weeks be tough…yep.

True all your baby does is pee, poop, sleep and cry when they have a dirty diaper, they’re tired or if they’re hungry. Sound simple? Well while you’re trying to physically recover from birth you can/will be an emotional wreck trying to find your way as a new parent as your body deals with the influx of hormones (heard of the baby blues?). Toss in a crying baby that you can’t figure out how to calm after three hours of sleep and you can understand the craziness that takes place that first month. Add another kid to the mix (like a sassy toddler in the throws of the terrible twos ahem ahem) and it is anything but simple. To bring some comfort to any of you nervous mommas I thought I would share the items of the registry you will use to take care of your babe for the first four weeks.

Since nighttime feedings are brutal during the first four weeks I already posted the essential items needed and suggest you read that post first (post HERE). Since most of those items are needed during the daytime as well I won’t go into repetitive detail. Remember I have a free printable checklist for anything and everything you could want when registering for your baby, check out that post HERE.

First time mom? Great list on essential items from your registry to care for your newborn for the first 4 weeks. A pin worth saving!
Changing Time:

Diapers & Wipes. Do I need to really explain why these are needed?? Tip: Because you will not know how big your baby will be at birth and how fast he/she will gain after born it is a good idea to have both newborn and size 1 diapers stocked and ready! Be sure to check out this tip on diaper wipe cases for your changing table! {optional is a diaper caddy, check out the nighttime essential list to find out why!}

Hand Sanitizer. I always keep a sanitizer pump next to the changing table in case I get sprayed with pee or poo. Golden showers fountains will occur and (this is TMI) your baby’s poop will be liquid until you introduce solids so beware of liquid poop squirts. So keep sanitizer near by to help clean your hands before you can get to an actual sink. I also keep a small pump bottle on my kitchen counter for all visitors to sanitize their hands before they touch the newborn. And because I’m OCD I keep a small bottle in my diaper caddy (more on that later) for nighttime feedings and a mini bottle in my diaper bag. The brand I buy is Target’s Up & Up and the one with aloe because it doesn’t dry up my hands, I like the smell and it’s cheaper!

Butt Paste (diaper cream). Babies can get diaper rashes so it is better to be prepared just in case. The diaper cream I’m obsessed with is Boudreaux’s Butt Paste (the all natural one with green label) because of natural ingredients, it doesn’t have such a strong smell like Desitin, and it easily wipes off the irritated bum. Note that the natural version I prefer over the original because it wipes off easier.

Alcohol Wipes. To help the umbilical cord stump dry up you can rub the area with rubbing alcohol. All pediatricians are different, but mine suggested to wipe the stump once to twice a day. You can dip a Q-tip in rubbing alcohol or use a small alcohol wipe. I suggest using the wipe because it is easier and the wipes don’t take up a lot of room. You can place a few at the changing table and in the diaper caddy to be used at night. The hospital usually has some free ones on hand next to the diapers they supply. Make sure you take home some extra ones home with you or you can buy the wipes from any drugstore. Tip: I use my extra wipes to help remove sticky store labels from items like plates or Tupperware!

Changing Pad. As I mentioned above you will run into golden fountains and “the squirts” so you need a changing pad to save your changing table or your bed during 3 am diaper changes. You can also roll a changing pad up for your diaper bag for on the go diaper changes. There are all kinds of waterproof changing pads on the market, check out the Munchkin waterproof changing liners. The best changing pads are the ones you can snatch up from the hospital! Check out the essential items for nighttime feedings to read all about it HERE.

Disposable Bags/Diaper Genie. A Diaper Genie is necessary to keep the smell of nasty diapers from stinking up the nursery and to keep any pets away. True story: Bentley destroyed a few dirty diapers that I left in a small trashcan next to our bed when Lily was born. They were number two diapers and it was everywhere! I was dry heaving while yelling for Mike to come to the rescue. So to make sure Bentley didn’t attack any more dirty diapers I placed them in disposable trash bags. In the morning I would just tie off the bag and toss it in a trashcan. Place a few of the disposable trash bags in your diaper bag as well to store any nasty explosions you encounter when a trashcan isn’t around while you’re out! For $12.99 you can get a box of 250 from Babies R Us.

First time mom? Great list on essential items from your registry to care for your newborn for the first 4 weeks. A pin worth saving!Feeding Time:
I’m exclusively breastfeeding baby number two and I breastfed Lily until she was seven months. For this post I’m listing items needed to help breastfeeding mommas for the first month, but most items are still needed for bottle fed babes too!

Boppy Pillow. Holding up your baby with your arms while breastfeeding is a workout. So give those arms a break (especially at 3 am) and use a Boppy nursing pillow. Of course you can use any couch or pillow on your bed to help prop up the baby and your arm while feeding, but it’s so much easier to use a nursing pillow. When using a Boppy you don’t have to worry about moving and propping pillows when you switch to the next boob. You can easily wash the pillow if/when your baby spits up on it. Best part…this pillow can be used as your newborn grows to help support them to sit up and for tummy time.

Burp Cloths. Spit up will happen so you will need a burp cloth when feeding your newborn. Of course I love super cute monogrammed burp cloths, but most of the time I use cheap white cloth diapers as my burp rags. One, they are cheap. Two, because they are cheap I don’t care if I loose one or if it gets stained. Three, babies can puke a lot and you can get a pack of 10 for $12.99 from Target…so you get a lot for the cheap price! Tip: Get the flat fold cloth diapers (NOT pre folded, they are too thick) and you can re-use them to dust your house when your baby grows up…win and win.{I use the ones from Gerber}

Paper & Pen. For the first week you will keep track of your babies feedings not only for the nursing staff at the hospital, but for your baby’s pediatrician on that first doctor’s visit. It doesn’t have to be a fancy document, just grab some paper and keep track of the time you started feeding and for how long. Tip: Make sure you right an “L” or “R” next to each feeding to remind yourself if you started that feeding on the left or the right boob! Tip: The hospital provides a form for you to record feedings/pees/poops for the nurses, so ask them for an extra(s) for you to use when you get home.

Nursing Bra & Pads. Is there any real need to go into why you need a nursing bra? My absolute favorite nursing bra is the Bravado Body Silk Seamless nursing bra. It comes in multiple colors, has no underwire, removable cups (but I use disposable pads), it’s seamless and SUPER comfy. For a cheaper alternative (but just as good) try Basics Stella maternity & nursing bra from Target.  Your boobs will leak milk…so to prevent an embarrassing leak moment or from waking up in a soaked nightgown place disposable boob pads in your bra. You don’t have to worry about washing them and their slim size is perfect for your diaper bag or clutch for date night! I love the disposable pads from both Lansinoh and Medela.

Nipple Cream. When I nursed Lily my nipples took a beating the first two weeks until she and I adjusted to nursing. Lily didn’t latch right and I got blisters for the first few days…yes blisters on my boobs how awesome! To help soothe my sore nips I applied Medela Tender Care Lanolin and it worked wonders. This cream is safe for me and my baby, comes in an easy to use tube, easy to apply and doesn’t have some crazy organic “soothing” smell that will annoy me in 20 minutes. I like organic products, but I don’t need my boobs to smell like lavender or mint folks!

Milk Pumping. If you want to have some saved milk for those just in case moments (date night, want to enjoy a bottle of wine or for working moms) you can pump those boobs! I’m not going to go into details on how/why or when because I only pump periodically (usually in the mornings), but I will suggest the items I use to make it easier for you! I use the Medela Pump In Style advanced breast pump (the backpack version). The backpack can hold all needed accessories while being portable & discreet! I highly recommend a double pump because it is faster. To keep it simple get the Medela storage bags that you can pump directly into, scribble the date on it and pop it straight into the fridge or freezer! Pumping is just awkward and always makes me feel like a cow being milked. Make your life easier and free up your hands while pumping and get the Medela easy expression bustier that will hold the pumps in place so you can talk on the phone, change a diaper or Instagram pictures of that adorable babe. No need to explain why you would need bottles if you are pumping as your newborn can’t chug straight from the freezer bags! There are so many kinds of bottles that is is really up to you, but I’m a big fan of Dr. Brown’s bottles. Tip: To save money contact your local hospital and speak with the lactation consultants about renting a pump directly through the hospital. You will still have to purchase some of the accessories for sanitary reasons, but you will save money if you only plan to pump for just a few weeks or months.

So this is half of my list of essential items needed for your newborn. With my Chloe and almost three year old it is a miracle I was able to get this post up! Look for volume 2 soon!

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